Head of Education Policy

This job has now expired
£70,000 - £80,000 (Commensurate with experience)

Our aim is for everyone in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) to feel that they belong, and are valued for who they are and what they contribute. Together, our people contribute in different ways towards our common purpose, whichever NCI they work in and whatever their background.

The Church of England Education Office is a public facing operation through which the Church of England engages within the educational landscape. It is a combination of the work of the National Society (NS) and the Archbishops’ Council’s (AC) work in education and through the NS, a strategic plan has been developed and agreed for the education office’s work. The strategic plan has three elements: “Developing Leaders, Shaping Policy and Growing Faith”. These three areas are held together as a coherent whole since the development of leaders is vital to the successful delivery of policy and Growing Faith.

The Head of Policy will lead a team of policy specialists and work with other experts in the sector to ensure the delivery of the strategic plan in this area.

We are looking for an outstanding Head of Education Policyto oversee and be responsible for the successful implementation of the Education Office strategic plan on shaping policy.

You will need an innovative and creative approach to lead the development of the Church’s statutory education provision, securing its historic position and enabling new opportunities for growth and expansion in close partnership with relevant Government departments. Your responsibilities will include the development of research, resources and strategies for successful development of policy and proactive engagement at diocesan level.

We are taking a flexible approach to work, with many colleagues opting for a hybrid approach to their working week, with a mixture of home and office-based working. Further details will be discussed at interview.

The Church of England is for everyone and we want to reflect the diversity of the community the Church serves across the whole country. Therefore, while of course we welcome all applications from interested and suitably experienced people, we would particularly welcome applicants from UK Minority Ethnic Backgrounds.

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact nigel.genders@churchofengland.org

Interviews will be held on the 10th December 2021.

In return we offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.

The Role

  • Lead the Church of England Education Office policy team promoting and resourcing the role and significance of Church of England schools, colleges and universities.
  • Develop and monitor policy for the Church of England on all aspects of education, including the Church of England Education Office’s interface with Government (and other system policy leaders) in relation to key education policy and working in collaboration the Church of England’s Parliamentary Unit to ensure timely proactive engagement with the House of Commons and House of Lords on educational matters:
    • Work closely with senior civil servants at the Department for Education
    • Support the Chief Education Officer in ministerial meetings and engagement.
    • Liaise with key sector bodies, including unions (ASCL, NAHT, NASUWT etc.) and other major organisations (CST, NGA, CCT etc.)
    • Lead further development of partnership working with other faith groups, including a particular focus with the Catholic Education Service
  • Develop a robust approach to data on Church of England schools to underpin policy development.
  • Work in partnership with the Provincial Officer, Church in Wales, to ensure that shared policy areas and interests are managed in a way that supports the promotion of Church schools in England and Wales.
  • Lead on the legal and regulatory framework including the provision and funding of church schools, school organisation, academy model documents and admissions and governance.
  • In an increasingly academized system, ensure academy legislation enables Church schools to continue to thrive and flourish for the future.
  • Ensure the Christian character of schools is sustained, especially in relation to:
    • Religious Education
    • Relationships, Health and Sex Education (including interaction with Valuing all God’s Children and Living in Love and Faith.)
    • Other areas of the curriculum
    • Collective worship
    • Diversity
    • Inclusion
    • Environment
    • Rural schools
  • Oversee effective strategic development of partnership working in relation to Further Education and Higher Education.
  • Contribute to the Church of England’s voice in the education sector, exercising system leadership and influence of other senior education stakeholders.

The Requirements



  • Ability to develop and promote policies and initiatives which will add value and be implemented across a complex institution and sector where authority is widely dispersed.
  • A good and persuasive negotiator with highly developed political skills and judgement.
  • The natural authority and initiative of a senior education leader.
  • Ability to prioritise, work swiftly and manage delivery of outcomes.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to reflect theologically, especially on the missiological significance of education in the context of the Church.


  • A professional understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the Church in education.
  • Experience of developing and implementing educational policy changes at a senior level.
  • Knowledge of current issues in relation to statutory education in the maintained and independent sectors.
  • Proven experience of managing a specialised staff team.
  • Track record of delivering projects on time to a high standard.
  • Knowledge of the work of a Diocesan Board of Education.

Personal Attributes:

  • An understanding of and sensitivity to the range of theological views within the Church of England.


  • Degree or equivalent.



  • Educational and / or theological qualification at post-graduate level.


  • Experience of ecumenical working.
  • Experience of inter-faith working.

We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.

Excellence, Respect, Integrity

We follow these three values in everything we do, whether we are of Christian faith, another faith or no faith. To learn more about working for National Church Institutions and our benefits, please click here

As a Disability Confident Leader, we actively look to attract, recruit and retain those of you who are disabled.

As a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome applications from those of you who have served in our Armed Forces and their families.

We are committed to being an equal opportunities employer and to ensuring that everyone, job applicants, customers and other people with whom we deal, are treated fairly and not subject to discrimination. We will do whatever is necessary to provide genuine equality of opportunity. We continuously review our policies and processes to support our aim to create a workforce as diverse as the nation the Church of England serves..